Hanzai Japan

Hanzai Japan

Hanzai Japan

One of the great joys of writing, for me, is selling a short story. I can’t explain it: You can’t live on the money you make, you often get very little notice for it, and yet I’m privately incredibly excited whenever I manage to convince someone that some chunk of words is worth paying me for.

My short story “Three Cups of Tea” will be included in the forthcoming Hanzai Japan from Haikasoru, which naturally makes it your priority. “Tea” is a Philip K. Marks story; this is the fourth story I’ve sold starring Mr. Marks, who’s a sort of run-down paranormal detective with huge chunks of his life missing from his memory (but not from some unpublished stories). For some reason when I think of Marks I tend to get some really awesome ideas.

I have some stiff competition in this anthology, though. Here’s the complete TOC:

Genevieve Valentine “(.dis)”

Yusuke Miyauchi “Sky Spider”

Libby Cudmore “Rough Night in Little Toke”

Ray Banks “Outside the Circle”

Yumeaki Hirayama “Monologue of a Universal Transverse Mercator Map”

Brian Evenson “Best Interest”

Jyouji Hayashi “Vampiric Crime Investigative Unit: Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department”

Naomi Hirahara “Jigoku”

Carrie Vaughn “The Girl Who Loved Shonen Knife”

Kaori Fujino “Run!”

S. J. Rozan “Hanami”

Violet LeVoit “The Electric Palace”

Setsuko Shinoda “The Long-Rumored Food Crisis”

Jeff Somers “Three Cups of Tea”

Chet Williamson “Out of Balance”

Hiroshi Sakurazaka “The Saitama Chain Saw Massacre”

Get excited and pre-order this one today! And while you’re at it, buy Haikasoru’s other anthologies: The Future is Japanese and Phantasm Japan.


Speaking @ The 2015 Writer’s Digest Annual Conference

Me Smart.

Me Smart, circa 2014.

As some of you may recall, I conducted a seminar on plotting a novel at last year’s Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, which was a smashing success. Or at least I was not chased from the building, pantsless and weeping, as so often happens when I am invited to things.

Welp, surprisingly, they invited me back to offer my insta-classic seminar Take Your Pants Off and Write! The Benefits and Pitfalls of Pantsing vs. Plotting a Novel once again.

What will you learn at this amazing seminar? Many things! I’ve written nearly 20 novels and published 9 of them for money, so I can obviously string fictional events together into a story. If you’re struggling with that aspect of your writing, I’ll be exploring the two main plotting processes writers use (pantsing vs. plotting), the advantages of each, and how they can be combined into something I have dubbed plantsing.

You will also learn how sweaty a grown man can become in public, how often his wife interrupts him so she can “tell the story right,” and how many times he can mention the fact that he’s published nine novels. Also, I’ll be lingering around the rest of the day, lurking on the edges of the events until the cocktail reception, at which time the pants come off and my inner John Belushi comes out.

Pass this on to anyone looking to improve their writing! Or anyone who wants to insult me in person.


“The Shattered Gears” Reviewed at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

Avery Cates: The Shattered Gears

Avery Cates: The Shattered Gears

Patrick over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist has always been a fan of the The Avery Cates Series, and he’s put up a great review of the first Cates short story The Shattered Gears, which was released in December 2014:

“I was pretty keen to read it! And then the Holidays rolled around and I totally forgot about it. My bad, I know . . . If you are a long-time fan of the Hotlist, you may recall that I pimped Somers’ series as much as I could every time a new volume came out. And though it’s been four years since the last one, it was so much fun to be reunited with Avery Cates, if only for the duration of a short story.”

It was also a lot of fun to return to write a return to Cates, frankly. Sometimes as a writer you get caught up in seeking challenges for your writing, breaking new ground, or worrying about your sales and your audience, and you forget to just enjoy writing. These Cates shorts, which will keep coming and eventually coalesce into a novel or three, are just a lot of fun!

You can buy The Shattered Gears over at



B&N Nook

Google Play

for 99 cents.


WINNERS: “The Walled City”

Walled_coverToday we held the ceremonial Choosing of the Names here at The Somers Compound. Dressed in our ceremonial Choosing Robes, I handed my wife The Duchess a copy of the comments left by the hopeful who wanted a rare print version of The Walled City, the new Avery Cates short. She reviewed them, drank half a bottle of wine, watched some TV, and finally chose:


Winner #2 — SEAN P.K.

Congrats to you both! I’ll contact you via email to get delivery specs. For those of you who were not favored with the Random Hand of The Duchess, you can always buy a digital copy for yourself:






Win a PRINT Copy of “The Walled City”

Walled_coverIf you’re a fan of Avery Cates, you already know, most likely, that The Walled City, a short story that picks up where the previous story, The Shattered Gears, left off came out last week on Amazon, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo–in short, as a digital-only story.

Well, if you’d like to actually have a print copy of this story, I’m giving away two. Just two–signed any way you’d like, and mailed directly to your door.

How do you get you mitts on one? Just comment here, and I’ll pick two random comments. I’ll announce the winners on Friday, June 26th.

Get commentin’!

OR, buy a digital copy for yourself:






What I’m Doing Tomorrow

Walled_coverSo, I’m taking part in a Facebook party-thing, hosted by Ragnarok Publications. The official details are:


WHEN: Event starts at 8PM EDT, I’m on at 9:30PM.

WHAT THE: So, I’ll be posting things like excerpts from the new Avery Cates Series story, videos, and photos, as well as answering questions and generally being a drunken fool, as per usual. ALSO, will be giving away both super-rare print versions of the new Avery Cates short story The Walled City (not out until 6/15, and then in ebook format only) as well as copies of We Are Not Good People.

So, if you’re in front of a screen tomorrow night, stop on by and accost me. Ask me anything! Or hurl


insults my way, I’m used to that. I’ll be happy to offer up liquor recommendations, relationship advice, photos of my cats, and humiliating personal anecdotes that make me look like a jackass. It’s what I do.


New Avery Cates Short Story Coming

Walled_coverSo, Avery Cates is not only my first published book series, it’s also a character close to my heart and one I thoroughly enjoy writing. And while I’m busy with a lot of other projects, sitting down and writing an Avery story always remains in the back of my head, so I’m giving in, slowly.

A few months ago I published The Shattered Gears, a short story that was also the nub of a new Avery adventure. Since then I’ve written The Walled City, which will be released as a short story on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play on June 15th, 2015, again for 99 cents. It’s a direct continuation of the story from The Shattered Gears. It’s available for pre-order now, in fact!

I have a whole story arc laid out, and what I’m going to do, until someone tells me to stop, is write chunks of the story and release them as novella-length pieces. Each piece will be a standalone story as well as a piece of a larger story. When all the chunks are out, I’ll combine them into the complete novel and release it separately.

Why not? This way I’m not trying to write a whole novel while trying to write six other things, but I still get to play in my favorite universe and sell some writing. It’s a win-win, I think.

Feel free to spread the word to any Avery fans out there. Here’s a little video trailer I made for the new story:

Any questions, just shoot me an email!


“disturbing but compelling”

Over at Fresh Fiction, Jennifer Barnhart reviewed We Are Not Good People and said, in part

“Jeff Somers has created a disturbing but compelling world for Lem and Mags. WE ARE NOT GOOD PEOPLE is gritty and thought-provoking. These people are truly not good people. Lem says this over and over in the story, always including himself, and he’s accurate. He’s not “good people,” but he’s definitely worth reading. I can’t wait to read more from Jeff Somers, because he knows how to balance a strong plot with characters who aren’t nice but they’re interesting, to create an unsettling story that will linger with you.”



To say this is pretty much the ideal reaction I could get to my work would be an understatement.


A New Avery Cates Short


UPDATE: Links for Nook and Google Play added below.

So, this happened:

In jotting down notes for an Avery Cates sequel or three a while ago, I started with a story fragment which turned into about 10,000 words of actual story. I sat on it for a while, but never had time to get back to a full-fledged novel (what with working on We Are Not Good People and writing blogs for what seems like half the Internet).

And so, last week, I thought, what the heck, let’s just publish the story as it is. And so I have.

The Shattered Gears is an all-new Avery Cates story that picks up shortly after where The Final Evolution left off. Avery’s had a little time to orient himself in the ruined world he now resides in, and there are plenty of hints there are more adventures to be had. Mysterious inhuman figures, an abandoned prison, and … The Howler. And Avery slowly gets his mojo back.

A lot of fun to return to this character and this universe, and I hope y’all enjoy it too. It’s currently available for pre-order at Amazon and Kobo, and will shortly show up on B&N for Kindle and Google Play. Just 99 cents American money, kids. Enjoy!

B&N Nook

Google Play